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Off to An Early Start

By Election Day the promotional hysteria reached what might be expected to be termed peak.

Black Friday has already arrived. In some cases it arrived quietly, in others it was a mighty roar. But nonetheless, it got here much earlier than anyone really anticipated.
     Walking through a number of stores in mid-October, already there were signs of an early Christmas - even as Halloween was still the focus on the floors. Who, with the weather in the 80s in New York, even was thinking about Christmas, boots or down comforters?
     Forward a few weeks and the newspapers are full of heavy duty promotions for store-wide sales. In most cases, these were massive boxes of item after item after item across the store that had no more identity for a consumer than one could imagine.
     By Election Day the promotional hysteria reached what might be expected to be termed "peak" - but as things later emerged, the Election Day events merely were a drop in the promotional bucket.
     Macy's, it appears, will drop five million catalogs - but with variables of 30,000 versions of product. This in addition to its weekly newspaper inserts that promote the stores across the country in every department.
     At the same time, JCPenney has unleashed its promotional might in a similar vein. Its promotional blitz is getting more and more intense. Last week's event called the sale "the biggest sale of them all" with store hours from, 7 am to 11 pm - and the tag line "it's all on sale."
     These are just two examples of the myriad events - including viral activities - a growing new way of communicating with the contemporary consumer. But the issue is - does this consumer really care about store-wide blockbuster sales - or is the quest for something more specific to her needs and budget?
     It's an issue still under debate - and probably will not be resolved for years to come.

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